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Everyone chant with me: NN4 is dead! NN4 is dead!

R.i.p.

     
6:06 pm on May 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Today I was able to reach an agreement with one of my clients to drop NN4 support. Finally! That was the last one to go! ;)

I mean, sheesh! the browser isn't even supported by Netscape itself [home.netscape.com] anymore, and hasn't been for months!

Let's push that old stinker off the cliff. Life would be so much easier if we didn't have that ancient junk pile around any longer. :)

6:10 pm on May 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Archived Products [wp.netscape.com]

Makes me happy to see 6.x in there too ;)

6:13 pm on May 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Congratulations! :)
6:25 pm on May 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Everytime I proclaim that NN4 is dead a group of NN4 clerics assemble to inform me that 4 Tibetan monks will no longer be able to surf the web freely. Further, Tunisian camel herders will no longer be able to order supplies. Then there's Bill. Apparently Bill is a wealthy professional, loves to order products over the web and absolutely refuses to surf with any browser other than NN4. What's worse is that there are literally millions of Bills and while all those NN4 users might make up less than 1% of the surfing population apparently they are responsible for 25% of the purchases made on the web. or some such nonsense...

Congrats on showing your client the light ;)

6:53 pm on May 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I wish I were there - I've got two clients who cannot give up NN4. They've got 9% and 7% users respectively. Schools for one and for the other it's corporate environments with limited IT resources to work on their network security. Not exactly camel herders, but still frustrating.

One of these markets is in a traditionally Macintosh field, and it looks to me like it's NN4 with Macintosh is where a big chunk of the holdouts are. Both these clients would like to drop NN4, but we just can't.

8:37 pm on May 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I'm trying to phase out support for NN4. I don't get any traffic anymore it seems from NN4 users. Aparently, I did something they didn't like.

It bothers me that I'm really just turning users away, but in my case it's worth it.

9:07 pm on May 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

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If we code so that NS4 users still get the page, but without any styles (which can be an improvement sometimes!) then we don't have to worry about NS4. We can code our modern pages as best we like, while NS4 users are still able to see and use them.

Example: your form might not have coloured backgrounds and use Verdana 10px fonts, but it will still be a form.

10:03 pm on May 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Hey, while we're at it, lets lock out those Apple users. They only comprise a meager 1-3% of our audience.

Who needs the aggravation of having to sneak onto a graphic design school campus or a boutique internet cafe to use their Macs to check if our web site is blowing up?

10:17 pm on May 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>>If we code so that NS4 users still get the page, but without any styles

Exactly. Same thing with those Mac users. ;) Fortunately, valid code seems to work okay with most versions of Mac browsers.

However, If valid code isn't rendered properly I am past caring about users that insist on using browsers that can't render valid code. I've seen people take valid code and render it invalid so they can serve up a styled page to a few users using broken browsers. Makes no sense to me.

10:18 pm on May 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

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1-3%... Wow. That's all you get?
10:20 pm on May 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Long Live Internet Explorer! The NEW NN.4!
ummmm... hey wait aminute? Do this mean we will have to wait until 2010 before we can use attribute selectors, position:fixed and whole slew of great CSS stuff? Go ahead, say it: "Some people are NEVER happy!"

div.the-bird:hover {
background: url{flippin-off-ie.png);
}

<div class="the-bird" title="NN4 is DEAD! Salute the new King of Obsolesecnce!">2010 is how many years away?</div>

;)

I like to think I did my own little part in accelerating NN4's demise... One down, one to go...

10:39 pm on May 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

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What a difference several months can make. The last time I stood up to suggest that NN4.x be killed off my head was handed to me! :(

[webmasterworld.com...]

I'm still bruised from the experience.

10:40 pm on May 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

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You know, we wouldn't have these problems if everyone would just be smart and switch to Opera.

(running away VERY quickly)

11:00 pm on May 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Speaking of Macintosh - I've been urging mac users to try out Safari. It's still a bit buggy, especially with CSS-2 (what browser isn't?) But wow, is that a sweet, speedy browser in many ways. Unfortunately, most of the NN4 Mac users are not running OS X 10.2, which is the minimum requirement for Safari.

Can you imagine the gall of these professional people - doctors, lawyers and some of them even engineers - who would rather spend their time doing their work instead of keeping their browser updated! In fact, many of them never give a browser update a single thought.

1:46 am on May 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Well Mac users only upgrade by throwing their Mac in the trash and buying a new one.
1:56 am on May 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Hey, I don't know how it is in the UK, but in the US, everything can be made to disappear by labeling it a security risk.

Isn't NN4 a security risk? Geez, every other day there's a patch for IE, isn't NN4 vulnerable to some god-awful thing or another? With no patches available because it's unsupported?

Say it: NN4 is a security risk. NN4 is a security risk. NN4 is a security risk.

It works!

2:13 am on May 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I don't quite get that logic. If Ford issues twice as many recalls as Toyota, how does that mean Ford is producing higher quality cars? Besides, if you were a hacker, why waste your time going after a relatively miniscule part of the browsing population?

I agree with the main thrust of the thread, however. Thankfully, our main clientele of government and non-profit groups is indeed moving away from Netscape 4-- slowly. In 1999 over 50% of our visitors were still using NN4, by 2001 it had dropped to under 10%, and by the end of this year we hope it will be under 1% and we will drop even the pretense of NN4 support. We had to maintain Netscape 3 support until 2001, if that is any guide to how slowly things move in this sector. Office technology is simply not a priority for these organizations, a few of whom still dialup from the office on their Pentium 150s.

11:44 am on May 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

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The problem with some public organisations has been that they introduced an IT Spec for all computers on site. This had Netscape 4 as the browser, along with a screen size of 800 x 600. I've heard of TFT monitors set to this resolution, making them all blurry!

So until the IT department gives the go ahead to change, the staff are stuck with NS4. Besides, unless you know what to look for, people probably don't realise they're missing anything by using it.

Alas what is now happening is that IT departments are bringing in a new spec that is almost as bad. One place I won't reveal has very recently upgraded 400 machines to... Netscape 6.2! Despite 7 being out for ages.

5:09 pm on May 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Gecko has overtaken Netscape 4 in raw hits according to my recent server access logs.

My breakdown is 5% Netscape 4, 6% Gecko, and 89% MSIE. Plus a smattering of Safari, Opera, and Konqueror.

I stopped testing my site in Netscape 4 about a year ago and have yet to receive a single complaint from any staff member or manager (some may use Netscape 4 at home), customer, or other website user. I'd like to see my Netscape 4 hits shrink to oblivion, but in the meantime at least it's causing me no pain.

5:25 pm on May 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I support NN4 on all my sites - it is just that they don't get any of the layout, colors or styles. This is the only way forward: just make sure that everyone has access to the content, and that modern CSS-aware browsers get the style. You don't need to exclude NN4 users, or even those with older browsers. AFAIK, NN4 can live forever!
5:49 pm on May 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Hey Dude, that's just the point I made. The last thing we should do is lock anyone out of a site.
6:38 pm on May 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Way to go DrDoc

We have just made the same decision.

The only bit of bandwidth that we will waste on NN is a browser detect pop-up -- informing benefits of using Opera or IE. With directs to the appropriate download.

Rich

6:52 pm on May 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

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A point worth repeating here is this. If we continue to support a browser, people will still use it. If we give them pages that aren't as stylish or dynamic as the rest see, then there is a clear motivation to upgrade.

Sadly I still see MSIE 3 and 4 being used. If a machine has them on, and the user comes along without checking the version number, then that browser will be used. (Imagine a PC in a print room for instance, not used by anyone specifically. Who will bother to upgrade that?)

Then there are the constant upgrades. I get new ones literally every week for Windows XP! They all seem to be 'essential' security ones too. Hmmmm. I bet a large number of users don't even have the upgrade notification program switched on.

So when IE7 comes out, for many years, we will still be seeing IE5 and IE6 in our logs!

9:54 pm on May 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Don't forget those solaris and linux users....oh and webtv too!

IE3? That must be fun, using IE3; can you say "script error"?
Haven't seen IE3 hits in any measurable # in awhile
(but then mine is a sheltered life)

I used ns4 for mail client up until recently, its
amazing how many sites quit supporting it.

It's always fun to go to a client whom you weren't able to
sell to and point out that the company site his
secretary made with publisher and frontpage comes up as
a blank page on netscape 4.

I say let it live awhile longer at least til IE 4 dies anyway..........

The Water Mammal

[edited by: MrDolphin at 10:02 pm (utc) on May 14, 2003]

10:02 pm on May 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I'm always happy to see this:
[google.com...]

I think it's a pretty reasonable guess that the tick marks on the left hand side represent 10%, putting NN$ at about 4%.

7:40 pm on May 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>a few of whom still dialup from the office on their Pentium 150s...
... dreaming of upgrading to a Pentium 150 ...

Running happily on Netscape 4.7 for many purposes, and wouldn't consider doing anything that would cause it problems.

However, I admit that it took about a day of analysis (i.e. on the first day that I looked at supporting IE 3) to determine that it simply COULDN'T be supported. It didn't know what HTML was, and it didn't know what Javascript was, but it was deep into system-crashing. I never saw anything about IE 4 to change that.

IE 6, well, in heavy internet use I have run it as much as two hours without crashing ... rarely ... but never three.

If IE 6 and NN4 were the only choices, I'd switch from IE 6 to NN4 any time, as many times as it took. And I'd pay for the privilege. And I'd be grateful.

9:06 pm on May 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Hey, while we're at it, lets lock out those Apple users. They only comprise a meager 1-3% of our audience.

Yeah, who do those people think they are? Choosing a rare and expensive boutique brand of computer instead of the popular cheap commodity brands! I don't want those people on my website.

9:12 pm on May 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Just checked the logs for the last full month:

Netscape 4 (all versions)= 0.3%

This means that I am happily dropping any kind of support for it. Actually, what really makes me think is that I just discovered 17 pages visited by... Msie 1.1! I would really like to know how those pages were looking...

10:44 pm on May 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I don't bother with Netscape 4 support or testing. The web will only move forward when we, the people who create the web, move it along forcibly. I have been considering implementing a javascript alert to say something like "The Browser you are using is old and does not comply with modern standards. We are now redirecting you to the Netscape site so you can be dragged, kicking and screaming into the 21st century"
10:56 pm on May 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I don't bother with Netscape 4 support or testing. The web will only move forward when we, the people who create the web, move it along forcibly. I have been considering implementing a javascript alert to say something like "The Browser you are using is old and does not comply with modern standards. We are now redirecting you to the Netscape site so you can be dragged, kicking and screaming into the 21st century"

My bank has a message like this on its e-banking page. Only problem is that it recomends Netscape 4 as an up-to-date browser! No one seems to have updated the page for several years.

I'm now changing my bank. For my own sites, I don't think it's my job to tell people which browser to use. I just give NN4 users unformatted text (or am moving to this). I regard anyone who can use a search engine or click on a link as a rational creature able to make up their own mind what sort of formatting they like. I have information that I wish to impart, and I'm not going to prevent anyone reading it because I don't like their browser.

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